Asus uBoomQ Notebook Speakers


For testing I connected the uBoomQ to my laptop, a Sony Vaio FW running Windows 7 Pro x64. The laptop is aimed at multimedia users so should offer better than average audio quality. My day to day speakers are Logitechs' z5500 5.1 speakers, which I will use in the review for comparison with a fixed audio setup. Audio files were played through iTunes, whilst films were handled by Windows Media Centre.
One of the obvious reasons for upgrading speakers is to get a bit more volume. It's no good trying to watch a film or listen to music if it sounds like it's being produced by a mouse. Testing against the speakers in my laptop it was clear the uBoomQ had a distinct advantage, and I would say they were 2-3 times louder. It was still evident that the source was only of low power, and offered nothing like the volume that z5500's have on tap. However, it was still enough to give a small to medium sized room comfortable listening levels.
Sound Quality
With 'bass powerhouse' credentials, there was a lot to live up to in the sound quality test. Fortunately for the uBoomQ, I was pleasantly surprised.  Whilst I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a 'bass powerhouse', it did offer a very noticeable improvement over my Sony's built in speakers. The high and middle ranges are the uBooms strongest point, with lyrics and speech sounding crisp and clear. This was particularly evident in films, where the uBoomQ was leaps ahead of my Vaio's built in speakers. The uBoomQ wasn't a million miles behind the z5500's in that range either, but the difference in quality was still evident. 
Unfortunately the low end is where the uBoomQ really suffered. Although it's obvious that Asus have tried quite hard in this area, you simply can't get a decent amount of bass out of something so small, especially when you compare it to the likes of z5500's. The real beat and feel of music was dulled (but not lost entirely), and action scenes/explosions in films seemed lifeless and dull. However, I would say the uBoomQ offers more bass than other speakers in it's class, so Asus's work has paid off to an extent.
Cranking up the volume doesn't really improve things - quite the opposite. Sounds become distorted as the speakers were pushed further than they should really go, and therefore I wouldn't recommend using the uBoomQ above around 80% volume.   
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